The COVID-19 virus has left the world handicapped, and our National Associations are also feeling crippled in these times due to being limited during lockdown.
However, during these testing times, many National Associations are turning to technology to turn the tide of battle in their favor and to continue practicing the sport of hockey that we all love so much.
In Malaysia, Malaysia Men’s Hockey coach Roelant Oltmans is trying to find ways to be innovative during this unprecedented period. Roelant, despite being in the Netherlands himself, is monitoring the progress of his players using online technology. He has created an online training module that keeps track of both the players mental and physical status.
Similarly, the Pakistan Hockey Federation in Pakistan is embracing online technology to conduct fitness tests of their players. Players are now required to send in their video recordings of themselves doing training drills especially designed to gauge their physical conditioning. The drills include lunges, pushups and jumping squats.
Hockey India is also using innovative new methods to keep themselves functioning normally during the crisis. The Indian National Hockey Core Probables and staff have been and continue to be based in SAI Centre, Bengaluru since the lockdown began in India. Graham Reid, India Men’s Team coach praised the role of technology in keeping things functioning whilst practicing the international guidelines of social distancing:
“We (both Indian Men and Women’s Core Probables Group) have been based out of Sports Authority of India Centre, Bengaluru since the nationwide lockdown began on 25 March 2020. While hockey training has been suspended completely, we have been engaging players to do basic fitness training. This again is not in groups but they need to work out individually or in pairs following the protocol of social distancing.
Though the Coaching Staff is on the same campus, in order to exercise social distancing norms, we use Google forms for wellness data submission which requires all players to fill their everyday routine which involves 5-6 km running and bodyweight training that improve their core. The players are asked to login their fitness training load every through the Google forms so that the Scientific Advisors can monitor them.
Additionally, we use Zoom video calls for individual nutrition meetings. We also use Google docs for fitness training program prescriptions with video tutorials. Technology during these difficult times have played a huge role. Since the players have not met their families in over two months, we urge all players to use video calls to check on their families every day and this also helps them stay calm mentally.”